It's been a good while since I've made a post. It hasn't been for lack of activity in game though! Towards the end of June, myself and fellow Black Jacket and Road Captain Spectre33 decided to partake in a different type of hunt. I received a Proteus years ago from a R1FTA Secret Santa, but never used it fully. I trained the skills for it just in case the time came when I would have to use it. I took it out for a spin a couple times to nab a mission runner, but never a serious roam. Well with the encouragement of Spectre (and his Loki), we went out terrorizing low sec. We encountered a bait Procurer and a very intense fight ensued.
But this is EVE. Not everything is successful. Losses were suffered eventually. For a space pirate that focuses on causing explosions with frigs, keeping a fat wallet hasn't been a priority. The occasional splurge of cash on a faction frig or assault frig, perhaps a Rupture if I'm feeling bold, but T3 Strategic Cruisers!? C'mon now! Yet, even the solo frig pilot has an itch to try something new. A flashing fantasy of themselves piloting a large ship as they unleash havoc and mayhem through space. The T3 roams with Spectre were just what the doctor ordered.
After those losses, I concluded that if I were to continue to partake in that type of hunt, flying those pricey (but very fun) ships would have to be funded through in game means. I get bored very quickly of PvE. I'm a simple Brutor, I like explosions and shooting stuff. I live for the Shakes and good fights. Piracy and the outlaw life is my EVE. How can I find something lucrative yet still keep me sharp and on my toes? After some deliberation, I decided on one aspect of PvE that still exposes me to PvP. Wormholes. J-Space. Bob Wills It! After some research, questions to my knowledgeable current and former Black Jackets (shoutout to Mack & J'Mike), I put together some fits, made the trip to Jita and had them ready in my staging system on the outskirts of the Minmatar/Amarr warzone.
En Route to start the Wormhole Diving ...
After concluding a previous roam from Gultra, I fired up my Rifter and undocked. Immediately d-scan reveals a Rifter and an Executioner in space. Given the fact that my previous roam ended with a couple skirmishes, I was grateful to have targets so soon on my roam. Some quick d-scan work showed the Rifter at a plex. I preheated my guns and modules and spammed "Jump" as I landed on the acceleration gate, the Rifter still on short. I exited warp to find the Rifter sitting right at the beacon. My 200mm's were eager to greet a fellow Rifter as the ship crumbled under my guns. The pilot didn't even lock me up nor moved as it exploded. I pointed his pod and executed him. A glance at the killmail revealed the Rifter pilot was nothing but a filthy farmer. Atleast the Rifter doesn't have to suffer anymore. I repped my heat damage and continued towards Gultra. A couple jumps later I saw more frigs on d-scan! Excited with the abundance of targets once more, I scanned down a Merlin at a plex and warped. I loaded EMP and remembered to maintain my distance as I expected to encounter blasters. Merlins can pack a punch if you get too close. This time the pilot locked me up and we exchanged gun fire. I noticed my speed drop significantly which meant only one thing. Dual webs. Shit! I had shut off the overheating on my afterburner, allowing the Merlin to land brutal volleys that had my SAAR struggling to rep. I overheated my afterburner to put a bit of distance between my smoldering Rifter and the Merlin's blasters. The Rifter's speed advantage was enough, and I skimmed the edge of the Merlin's optimal range (with my SAAR pumping out dry reps) to watch the Merlin explode. No pod on this one, but three kills within 5 minutes was definitely refreshing! We dropped gf's in local. The Shakes were still flowing as I docked up to rep my Rifter and reload my repper and guns. I slammed a beer and breathed in a smoke to settle the nerves, then reentered the glowing red of Minmatar space.
Once again I saw another frig on scan, this time an Executioner. We met on grid and the fight ensued. As I closed range, the Executioner's lasers broke through my shields and began burning holes into my armor. My Rifter weathered the storm as I pulsed my SAAR until I was comfortably under his guns. Soon after, the Executioner's smoldering wreck lingered in space. I was able to lock his pod, and before I delivered the killing blow, I dropped a gf in local. Five kills in ten minutes! The gods favor me this day! I gathered the loot, docked n rep'd, and continued my roam to Gultra. I was still intent on going on my first wormhole dive that night.
I scanned around quickly as I passed through each system along the route. I didn't encounter a ship on scan until I reached Todifrauan. A lone Algos was on scan, and since there was only one other pilot in system, I checked the bio. An Amarr foot soldier, alone and unafraid. Why not? I'm on a hot streak. I loaded Fusion and went over my tactics as I warped to the plex. Pull range quickly. Keep that repper going soon as your shields fall. Ignore the drones. The Algos didn't warp, which meant the pilot was either confident or not watching short scan. I landed on grid and we quickly locked one another up. His drones were working on the FW NPC as I pulled range and fired away. The drones swarmed my Rifter as I noticed it wasn't blasters, rails or neuts (thank Bob) hitting me .. but autocannons! His Algos was also shield fitted as his shields were reppin'! Unorthodox indeed! I held a close orbit, hoping my 200mm's could do enough to break through the shields. My bet on the damage output proved to be a winner, as the Algos's shields finally went dry which allowed my own autocannons to overwhelm the repper and tear its armor and hull apart. The Algos exploded. I locked and pointed his pod, then promptly executed him. You never know what you're gonna get as a solo pilot. Some days you'll roam for hours and be lucky to get one kill (if a gate camp hasn't gotten you first). Others it seems the targets are lining up for you. Whatever the case was that day, it reminded me of why I love solo frig pvp and continue to roam New Eden.
The luck and favor of the space gods remained with me not just on my roam, but into my first expedition as well. It was actually pretty relaxing in a way. I enjoyed the sounds of the probes as they scanned and analyzed the signatures in space, narrowing down the targets. All the meanwhile keeping an eye on d-scan for any sign of another ship.
Once I found a suitable hole, I began my search for Relics and Data sites. I was in an Astero, and as I closed down on a Relic site, I saw a Heron on scan. My heart jumped. I had no point fitted since I was focusing on sites, but I did have a web and prop mod plus drones. The spirit of Saint Wensley visited me and commanded I carried out his will. As I frantically thought of where or how to find him (since I had a regular probe scanner and not the expanded one for ships), I used a bit of deductive reasoning. The Relic site I was working on probing down was less than 1 AU from my position. The Heron was 1 AU from me as well (on d-scan). Therefore, keep probing down the Relic site, warp to it and he'll probably be there! My reasoning proved correct as I entered the Relic site cloaked up and watched the Heron. He was sitting motionless as he hacked the can. Similar to a predator stalking his prey, I watched his path and saw he still had a few cans on one end of the site to go. I slowboated towards the closest one as he finished the can and followed suit. He reached the can on the other end much quicker since he used an MWD. Upon reaching the can I was lurking by, he sat motionless as he hacked the can.
|The Brave Heron Explorer|
The brave Heron pilot was a young but ambitious pilot to New Eden, no more than 5 months old. Bold of him to venture into wormholes. But this is EVE, and although we're here for similar reasons, I must teach him a cold yet crucial lesson.
My heart rate increased as my palms grew sweaty. Something felt different about this. I've warped into fights where two to three frigs were waiting for me. I've entered sites and belts with just one Black Jacket as we took down battleships and cruisers. Yet for some reason, cloaked up in my Astero, stalking this young explorer, waiting for the opportune moment to decloak and bring violence to this Heron was giving me the Shakes of a different kind. I gathered myself, decloaked and spammed target lock. I released the drones as they carried out their deadly task. The Heron pilot panicked like a gazelle frantically trying to escape a lion. His shields crumbled as he sped off towards the sun. I realized I was gripping my mouse tightly as I clicked on his ship to track it, to see what direction he escaped to. Planet. I recalled my drones and warped in chase. Given my Astero's fit and natural agility over a Heron, I landed on grid moments later to see him trapped inside the Customs Office. The prey could not escape this time. I locked him up and released the drones, still spamming scan for any possible ships or backup who might try and strike. The drones conducted their deadly business one final time. The Brave Heron Explorer went up in flames with a brilliant flash, his capsule still stuck on the customs office. I wasted no time locking him up and setting the drones onto the pod. The Shakes were making it difficult to loot n scoot and grab the corpse as I finally warped to a safe and cloaked up. The rush! The exhilaration! It was a hell of a exciting start to my first expedition into wormholes, and a memorable one at that!
The rest of the night ended with me finishing sites and warping in and out of one in particular to avoid exploding myself to Sleeper rats. It took a while, but I was finally able to leave that wormhole with enough loot to satisfy this Brutor. Wormhole space was intriguing, mysterious, and beautiful. The beauty of it was enough to draw you in and distract you from constantly hitting d-scan to spot any ships or probes that aren't yours. I couldn't resist but take a screenshot of an amazing view.
|Watching a wormhole with a pulsar in system.|
I hope you enjoyed this post :) I hope to post a bit more in the future as well!
Happy Hunting o7